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YA Fanatic

Librarian who loves everything about books. Generally read Young Adult.

Before the Devil Breaks You Book Review

Before the Devil Breaks You: The Diviners, Book 3 - Libba Bray, January LaVoy, Listening Library

Sigh. I have very mixed feelings about this. I love the first one, enjoyed the second one and feel like this book three is very fillerish for the final book. A lot of the scaryness is gone. It's very political and not at all why I started this series and got so invested. I'm one of those people that like to read, be entertained without the necessities of making everything political. 


I love Theta and Memphis. They are probably my favorite characters in the book. Jericho didn't do much this time around and even Evie was a little boring at times. Its a long one and half of it wasn't necessary. 


I'll still read the next one but I'm hoping Libba Bray has more of that scary, ghostly goodness left for this series. 

Wonder Woman Book Review

Wonder Woman: Warbringer - Leigh Bardugo

I haven't seen the movie so I can't compare there. It does make me want to watch it though. I love Leigh Bardugo. She's a fantastic writer and does her characters very well. I love Dianna. She's badass and funny. I loved the scenes of her in our world for the first time. 


I'm excited for Marie Lu's Batman book and any upcoming DC super hero books like these. As long as they choose the right authors for them I can see myself loving all of them. 

Girl at War Book Review

Girl at War: A Novel - Sara Nović

Wow this was powerful. I had to read this for a YA book training coming out and fount it an interesting book to choose for teens considering its not exactly YA. But it was so good. I was hooked from the beginning and really felt the emotions of the main character. 


Ana was ten years old when she witnessed her parents death in Crotia. Now she's an adult in America living under a different name with her adopted parents. A better life. But nobody really know's who she is or where she comes from. But the truth is about to come out. 


This packed a punch straight from the beginning. I don't know much about Crotia and their civil war. But I certainly gained perspective from this book. I'd recommend it easily. And I'm curious to what the teens at this event will feel about this book. 

Monster in the Closet Book Review

Monster in the Closet (The Baltimore Series) - Karen Rose

This is my first Karen Rose novel. I don't read a lot of adult thrillers so I thought I'd branch out. I live in Maryland and especially liked that I recognized a lot of the scenery in Hunt Valley and Baltimore. 


It took a while for me to really get into Monster in the Closet. The last 100 or so pages were pretty exciting and fast paced. I wish more of it was the same. There are several characters this follows from the bad guys, to the parents and the children so it almost took too long for me to get into. 


I enjoyed it enough to probably read more by this author in the future. The only problem is I don't think I'll remember this one a year from now or even in a few months. 

Gabi, A Girl In Pieces

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces - Isabel Quintero Flores

I have very mixed feelings about this. I enjoyed the character. I liked the diversity. Gabi, being a fat Mexican girl was refreshing. 


This deals with a lot of difficult topics in life, teenage pregnancy, rape, overdoses, sex, etc. Many teens will probably relate to them,. 


I dunno, I just felt like it was almost too preachy for me to enjoy? I get it, these topics need to be talked about. But that's what it felt like this book was doing. Just preaching tough choices and tough teen issues. I wanted more. 


I enjoyed the poetry throughout the book. Its not terrible, just not a favorite of mine. I'd probably recommend it if you love YA contemporary. Chances are you will enjoy this one. 

Air By Ryan Gattis

Air - Ryan Gattis

I have very mixed feelings about this one. Grey, a 17 year old boy has to move to Baltimore City after his mother's death. There he befriends a motorcycle riding group of kids who do dangerous stunts to antagonize the police. 


And that's what I didn't like. How much these boys were trying to make a point and were doing all this trick riding JUST to antagonize the cops. It ticked me off. And felt a little unrealistic. I'm from Maryland, and while I don't live in the city I think the cops there have a lot more to worry about than teenagers riding dirt bikes.


And while I get what the author is trying to do here I think the point gets a little murky. I would have liked to know a little more about the main character and less about the bike riding (again, why?). 


It has really good reviews, so this may be another one of those its not for me but it might be for you type of books. 

Flying Lessons Book Review

Flying Lessons & Other Stories - Ellen Oh

I'm not a huge short story reader nor a big fan of middle grade books but this was cute and a fast read. Grace Lin had my favorite story. I'm not sure if a middle grade student would really enjoy this one as the stories tend to end too quickly (hence why I never like short stories myself). 


I'll be hearing Ellen Oh speak next month so I'll be curious to see what she has to say about this book. 


Defy the Stars Book Review

Defy the Stars - Claudia Gray

This reminds me a bit of Illuminae with the space setting. Except Illuminae does it soooo much better. I never fully got into Defy the Stars. The audiobook was tough to get into as I hate when they have two narrators but don't use it for the character all the way through. 


There are robots, an interstellar wars and of course a romance brewing. The ending didn't do too much to hold me over so not sure if I will read the next one. 

The Porcupine of Truth Book Review

The Porcupine of Truth - Bill Konigsberg

Not for me. I didn't enjoy the characters. I thought it was obnoxious how the author constantly complained about religion. I get that its supposed to be a coming of age story and about finding yourself, especially in the LGBTQ community. It just didn't do it for me. 

Vigilante Book Review

Vigilante - Kady Cross

I seem to be on a losing streak with books lately. This was just full of ich factor for me. It felt very squeamish most of the time. A book about a girl making revenge on her dead best friends rapists. Yea, it goes there. I didn't love the main character. I get it, rapists go free and something needs to be done about it. But nothing in this book was okay. I couldn't get past the idea. It got very far fetched in the end as well. 


If anything, I'll give credit it where its due, I probably won't forget this one anytime soon. 

Second Chance Summer Book Review

Second Chance Season (The Grand Valley Series Book 2) - Liora Blake

This was just bad. I didn't read the first one but that didn't even matter (actually didn't realize until this was book 2 until I went to Booklikes. The romance was dull and the characters weren't very original. There are usually fun things I like to see in a romance, this just didn't have it. 

I see London I see France Book Review

I See London, I See France - Sarah Mlynowski

Cute and fun. Not my favorite travel book but I enjoyed it. There were certainly parts I disliked, I found the main character a bit obnoxious as well as the best friend and found it out there that these two teens could afford an entire trip like this by themselves. A bit too much casual sex and pot smoking for my liking.


But the notion of traveling to Europe made it a great summer read. Not sure what age group I would recommend this too. 

Once and For All Book Review

Once and for All - Sarah Dessen

This was cute. Not my favorite Dessen novel. I felt a little let down by the end. Could have used more back story with the main character and the school shooting scenes. Enjoyed the fact that she worked with her mother with weddings. 


Dessen fans will probably like this one. Its her usual cute and fluffy summer read. 

Kept - Maya Banks

Oh man, I thought this was terrible. I've enjoyed a lot of Maya Banks' books. Especially her KGI series. But this one, just dumb. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl on the first sight. Therefore he must own her and from there on....typical love story I guess. Just not my favorite from this author. 

Strange the Dreamer book review...

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor

I think I'm in the minority here with not exactly loving this one. I listened to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and thoroughly enjoyed that one. While the writing in Strange the Dreamer is quite gorgeous I found myself somewhat bored. Maybe listening to the audio would have helped? I'm not sure. It took me several weeks to read, partly because I've been busy and partly because it just put me in a reading slump. I still love this author and am looking forward to more by her but I probably won't read the next one in this series. 

Cilla Jenkins Book Review

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire - Susan Tan, Dana Wulfekotte

This was cute. I really enjoyed the illustrations and the overall theme. I think children will enjoy a character that loves to write especially since this is done in a journal type format. Definitely one of those books I'll keep in the back of my head for reader's advisory.